Welcome to the Fraser Family
I am married to Jo with 2 children (Michelle and Dawn) and have been happily married for over 20 years. We are a Christian family with traditional family values.
We are members of our local Church Fellowship - Glendale Church - where we take an active role. Pete is also webmaster for the church.
I am a senior Software Engineer with Snell & Wilcox (Newbury) having previously worked for Soundcraft Electronics and Strand Lighting on their 430/530/550 consoles).
I have also been involved in training people to operate sound equipment in worship.
|My Early Years|
I grew up in a Christian Family, my father being a minister in the Church of England, the only boy in a family of six children. We moved about the country a great deal but it was in Preston (Lancs.) that I made the decision that Jesus Christ was to be an important part of my life and handed over the running of my life to Him. That is not to say that I stopped being responsible as you will see later. My father, with his knowledge of electronics introduced me to the subject and I also took up an interest in theatre, building my own model theatre with basic scenery and lighting.
The family moved to Surbiton when my father became vicar of Christ Church and I changed schools to Kingston Grammar School. I stayed there for the rest of my school life. While at school, my interest in theatre increased as I took part (back stage) in school productions. I also learnt guitar from a lodger and this was used while at school as one of our French teachers was a gentleman by the name of Simon May(Eastenders theme tune etc.) He encouraged my singing and playing and was also responsible for my taking a greater interest in sound mixers.
When I left there I went to work for Trident Audio for a year as a test engineer of sound mixing consoles, starting my career in the audio industry. A friend of the family had recommended me to study at university before becoming a sound engineer, something I've never regretted (Thank you Tony). After Trident, I started my Electronics degree at Chelsea College, University of London which I eventually left with a 2.2 degree. While at Chelsea I spent most weekends providing lighting for rock bands visiting the college. After a year hiring lighting I decided to buy my own and start my own hire company, still doing a lot of work for the College. By the end of three years at college I had a 24k lighting rig with dimmers and a control desk that I had designed as my final year project. This was going to affect my future career.
After leaving college I decided to continue my hire company and continued to gig with many people including Shakatak, Christian band Collision and did some evening sound engineering in a pub in Brixton. It was during this time that I had a serious motor-cycle accident which stopped my 'roadie' career for a time. Roadies aren't very useful with a broken arm and leg, not to mention a paralysed hand so for 6 months I was out of work and on sickness benefit. I left hospital after 3 months (the leg was badly broken) with still no use of my left hand and stayed with my parents for some time until I was fully discharged from hospital. During this time my nerve damage was miraculously repaired (twice as fast as the doctors could have hoped for) and I was able to use my left hand and play my guitar again!
Sometime after this a friend of mine put me forward for a job doing computer aided design at the company he worked for (Michael Cox Electronics) and my 'real' career started. I spent many years there, eventually writing software for vision mixers as used by the BBC and Channel 4 television. It was during this time that I met the girl, yet to become my wife, who 'just happened' to come to my church on one of the evenings when I was there. I say this because I had started hiring out lighting equipment again and was now working for Adrian Snell as his lighting designer and was more often than not away touring at weekends.
|And later...as a family|
My friendship with Jo blossomed and we got married 9 months later (the children didn't come for another 4 years!) After two years of marriage I joined Hill Audio in Kent, to do R&D work on their sound mixers and also to put into production my lighting controller that I had spent some time designing. Unfortunately it was not to be and due to financial problems facing the company I felt that I had to leave and joined Strand Lighting, writing software for their Lighting systems. With hindsight, I can now see that God had used our time in Kent to sort our marriage out (we had had little time together when first married due to tours/ nursing night shifts) and to force me to make a break from the touring life.
Our journey back to London was dreadfull and taught me to trust God fully in everything we do. I joined Strand just before the end of the housing boom and when we finally decided to move, no one was buying houses! For 18 months I commuted to West London from Kent a return journey of 3 hours! It almost completely drained me and it was only a prophecy of Jo's that things would be sorted out by the end of November that kept me going. We finally had an offer on the house on the ( you guessed it) last day of November and the move finally started. We moved to Ashford (near Heathrow) in January and joined our local Baptist Church.
If you ever have questions about whether God exists or if He cares about us, I can say without a doubt that He does. With all the events in my life, catastrophies and all, I can say that everything that happens to be is in my best interest. When it happens to me I often don't understand why, I can remember lying in a hosital bed thinking "why me?", but looking back on my life I see a pattern emerging.
I then worked with Soundcraft on the other side of London as the result of the takeover of Strand Lighting which led to most staff in London being made redundant. I had been praying about whether to leave Strand for various reasons and God answered my prayer when the new owners told the employees that the company was moving to Scotland to join the factory site. I started looking for a job and moved to Soundcraft soon after.
I started there as a Senior Software Engineer working on the 'Broadway' mixer which is designed as a digitally controlled sound mixer where every control can be stored and recalled as a cue. Celine Dione is using one on her current (1998) World Tour and her sound engineer loves it. I moved on to become a Project Leader working on several projects including a control surface (Houston) for Steinberg's Cubase VST. This was a very good project which was fast to market with a good design.
We moved to Hertfordshire in October 1998 having found the house we wanted at the right price available at the right time. Praise the Lord! We spent five years there helping with worship and children's activities. During that time Jo had two hip replacements and our location close to her specialist hospital - The Royal National Orthopaedic - made visiting her much easier. We made a lot of good friends there, including many from other churches who I was very active with in inter-church activities.
Following the incident on September 11th 2001, the parent company decided that Soundcraft wouldn't need so many R&D staff as no one would be touring (a sensible decision in hindsight) so they made almost half the R&D department redundant. Luckily I'd expected this and found a new job, within 2 weeks of leaving, with Snell & Wilcox in Newbury. They are a broadcast TV manufacturer and I started working on high definition digital video recorders. This is a good opportunity for me and came along at just the right time as jobs are few and far between at the present. I just hope that the people at Soundcraft are OK. There are a lot of good people there who I'd hate to see lose their jobs.
Snell and Wilcox is a great company with lots of great guys working for it. Working at the 'Newbury Research Center' is good as there were only 18 of us and we all got on very well. I spent a year trying to sell the house and move down to the Newbury area. We lost several houses in the move down with people pulling out of the purchase/sale at the last minute but we eventually sold the house and moved into rented accommodation which was a bit small but just about fit our furniture into. We moved down a year after I got the job and had to try to get the children into school - which was full! Well God provided again and both children got into the local school, just down the road. They've settled in well and have lots of friends. Once in the Newbury area we found the perfect bungalow with a nice large garden. A week after we signed contracts on the new house, we were informed that my project at work was cancelled and that we would all lose our jobs! Well as you will have already read, as Christians we believe that God is in control and yet again he provided new jobs within the same company but in what looks like an even more interesting post if not quite so high technology.
Here are some pictures of the recent floods in Thatcham that narrowly (by 100yds) missed out home.
Well, Snell & Wilcox are re-structuring and the office is closing and the job moving to Havant. This isn't really a viable cycle ride(!) and not really my idea of a nice commute by car either so I'm looking for a new job nearer home. I'm looking forward to what comes up this time - the interviews so far have been very encouraging with a good choice of job opportunities around at present.
Watch this space for more news!
©2007 Pete & Jo Fraser - Updated October 22nd, 2007 - Page Top | Go Home